Chief Executive of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, is on the front lines of a mission to bring life back into the company and save it from becoming too far obsolete. And with the new release of Marissa Mayer and The Fight to Save Yahoo!, by Nicholas Carlson, a great amount of information concerning why Yahoo is suffering becomes clear.
An all-company meeting took place in URLs, Yahoo’s cafeteria, where an anonymous Q&A was held where employees were able to submit and vote on the questions they wanted asked the most. The author, Mr. Carlson, wrote in the questions at the beginning of his book. Many shed light on the internet company’s many setbacks in comparison to Google, Facebook, or even Apple.
Several of the employee’s favorite questions revolved around quarterly performance reviews (QPRs). The system works on a one-to-five score. The higher the score, the better the job done by an employee. Mayer introduced this ranking method as a means of controlling both the cost and quality of their enterprises.
However, the quality behind the search engine’s current status is in jeopardy. Some of the other anonymous questions published in Mr. Carlson’s book were inquiries concerning Mayer’s plans on international programs, more effective product upgrades, and revising what services they offer in an attempt to improve them.
Here is a sneak peek into the type of answers you can expect to see if you read Mr. Carlson’s book. When asked what plans she had for rejuvenating ad revenue Mayer said “Ultimately, increasing ad revenue is about two things: product innovation and relationship building. In terms of products, [we are] focused on innovating our ad tech and we are seeing early and significant results. We invented a Stream Ads business a year ago that now has a run rate in the hundreds of millions of dollars.” After that, Mayer proceeded to say how she was meeting with other advertisers to work on branching out their content, but little specifics were given.
So, for the time being, Mayer is working to find some software or product breakthrough that will bring the internet mogul back into the mainstream. Although Mr. Carlson doubts the success of Marissa Mayer’s mission to pull Yahoo back from the brink and save their reputation.
The author noted that Yahoo was only a success because it solved a global issue that only lasted a brief time. But later on, as an infinite amount of options opened sprang up online, the need for Yahoo’s services faded. Over the years, even with a diverse collection of CEOs – from one of the company’s founding members to a Hollywood executive – the internet mogul has yet to redefine their purpose.
While Ms. Mayer has no concrete plans for updating services, she has placed her bets on bringing money into the company by aligning stakes in both Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. Jeffrey Smith from the hedge fund Starboard Value, is nervous about the decision fearing that speculation that the mogul is withholding assets from shareholders.
Mr. Smith argued over the merits of the cash rich split-off transaction as it may cost the company several shareholders, noting that there are other, more superior, mutually beneficial options. With Yahoo’s products falling behind while simultaneously running a risky monetizing proposal, Marissa Mayer may not succeed with her mission to save Yahoo from suffering a heavy blow. With all eyes on her, Ms. Mayer has many and crucial decisions to make if her company is to continue to thrive.
By Matthew Austin Bowers
Photo by JD Lasica – Flickr License